NEW DELHI, Oct 10: India’s Supreme Court on Monday stayed the death sentence handed down to the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, pending an appeal hearing.

“This case has to be heard on top priority,” Judge Aftab Alam told the court. “It is the demand of the judicial system that we have to hear this appeal.” Pakistani national Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, one of 10 gunmen who laid siege to Mumbai for nearly three days killing 166 people, was convicted in May 2010.

Kasab was found guilty of a string of crimes, including waging war against India, murder, attempted murder and terrorist acts, after a trial at a maximum security prison court in Mumbai.

The first appeal by the 23-year-old from a poor farming area in the Punjab province failed in February, when the state high court in Mumbai confirmed both his conviction and death sentence.

India reserves executions, which are carried out by hanging, for the “rarest of the rare” offences.—AFP

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